Part 4: Castling - when our opponent does it we hope it's less good**1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 **This again. But what if instead of 5...c6 black tries:

**(A2) 5...0-0**Both natural and in some ways quite flexible move. No pieces or pawns have had their places determined. Black's hope is that he will know better what will be a judicious setup for him after he has seen one more move from white. While in a more general sense this can be part of good strategy castling actually gives white attacking possibilities. Starting at move six I recommend:

**6.0-0-0 (Diagram) **6.Bh6Is another way of going about things. One of the main points is that

6...c6 7.h4Is dangerous for black and pretty much forces him to go forego his most active plan involving moving the b-pawn due to:

7...b5 8.Bxg7 Kxg7 9.h5White has good initiative despite not having done much for his position besides playing the typical hack moves.

Not a bad alternative overall really. Check John Shaw's book for more lines.

**6...c6**After white's castling playing for an immediate c5 or e5 becomes problematic. This has made 6...c6 black's main way of handling the position.

**7.Bh6**Of similar value appears to be 7.f3. Black can't really do much but accept the fact that he is going to be under some pressure on the kingside. Probably he should go 7...b5. The following radical way of playing would not be so dumb if it worked as intended; neutralising white's kingside chances before they even became something tangible. The problem is that white is not forced to play for hack attacks in order to disturb black's position.

7.f3 h5!? 8.Kb1! b5 9.e5 dxe5 10.dxe5 Qxd2 11.Bxd2 Ne8 12.f4 (+/=) White is better.7.Kb1 b5 8.f3 Seems less flexible compared to 7.Bh6.**7...b5**Alternatives look problematic.

7...Qa5 8.h4! Bxh6 9.Qxh6 Ng49...b5 10.h5 Ng4 11.Qd2 (＋/ - ) Black does not have enough compensation.

10.Qd2 c5 11.dxc5!?11.f3 cxd4 12.Nd5!? Qxd2+ 13.Rxd2 Ne3 14.Nxe7+ Kg7 15.Ne2 Be6 16.Nxd4 Re8 17.Nd5 Bxd5 18.exd5 (＋/ = ) Black is a pawn down for not much. Technically this should be good for white.

11...Qxc5 12.Nh3 Be6 13.h5 (＋/ = ) With a good amount of positional pressure for white.7...Bxh6 8.Qxh6 b58...Qa5 9.h4 Transposes to 7...Qa5.

8...Ng4 9.Qd2 b5;

*9...Qa5 10.Nf3 Nd7 11.h3 Ngf6 12.Qh6 (＋/ - ) Black has problems positionally.*; 10.h4 b4 11.Nb1 Nf6 12.h5! Nxe4 13.Qh6 g5 14.Bd3 f5 15.Bxe4 fxe4 16.Qxg5+ Kh8 17.Nd2 (＋/ - ) Black has an unenviable position.

9.e5!?This becomes pretty forcing since black can not afford to have his pieces driven back. Instead:

9.f3 b4 10.Nb1 Transposes to 7...b5.

9...dxe5 10.dxe5 Ng4 11.Qh4! Qc711...Qb6 12.Ne4 Qc7 13.Nf3 Na6 14.e6 Bxe6 15.Nfg5 h5 16.h3 Nf6 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Ng5 Qa5 19.Kb1 Rad8 20.Be2 (＋/ = ) With good positional compensation.

12.Nf3 Nxe5 13.Be2 Nxf3This seems best. Instead:

13...a5 14.Ng5 h5 15.Qg3 f6 16.Nf3 Kh7 17.Rhe1 Ra7 18.Nh4 g5 19.Bxh5 Rg8 20.Nf3 (＋/ = ) With some advantage for white in a slightly strange position.

13...Na6 14.Nxe5 Qxe5 15.Rhe1 Qc7 16.Bf3 Be6 17.Qh6 Rad8 18.Re4 Bf5 19.Rh4 g5 20.Qxg5+ Bg6 21.Rhd4 Rxd4 22.Rxd4 b4 23.Ne4 (＋/ = ) White has better centralisation and less weaknesses.

13...Ng4!? 14.Ne4 f6!? 15.h3!? Ne5 16.Nxe5 Qxe5 17.Rhe1 Qc7 18.Nc3 a6 19.f4 (＋/ = ) Since black has weakened his kingside and white is well placed with his pieces this will be good compensation.

14.Bxf3 Be614...Na6 15.Rhe1 Be6 transposes.

15.Rhe1 Na615...Nd7 16.Qxe7 Qf4+ 17.Rd2 Nb6 18.Re4 Qxh2 19.Rh4 Qe5 20.Bxc6 (＋/ - ) White is a lot more active.

16.Qh6 Rad8 17.Re4 Bf5 18.Rh4 g5 19.Qxg5+ Bg6 20.Re1 (＋/ = ) White should be somewhat better.

8.f3 b4It is not obvious what is best here for black. A serious alternative exists in 8...Qa5. This was also the 2009 "Dangerous Weapons The Pirc And The Modern" recommendation.

8...Qa5 9.h4!9.Kb1?! Bxh6 10.Qxh6 Be6 11.e5 dxe5 12.dxe5 b4 13.exf6 exf6 14.Nge2 bxc3 15.Nxc3 Nd7 (=) Black is OK.

9.Bxg7?! Kxg7 10.e5 dxe5 11.dxe5 Ng8 Neither side is greatly placed. Black should be about OK.

9...b4I could find little better.

9...Be6 10.h5 b4 11.Nb1 Nbd7 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.a3!?

Maybe a bit simpler compared to 13.hxg6 in DW: Pirc Modern. Basically I am not really impressed by black's position and think white can play calmly.

13...Rab8 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.b3 (＋/ = ) (Diagram)

White should be able to absorb active attempts by black. If he can play a long middlegame it looks to me like black will have more weaknesses to worry about.

9...Bxh6 10.Qxh6 b4 11.Nb1 Ba6 12.Nh3!? Bxf1 13.Rdxf1 Qh5 14.Qd2 Nbd7

*14...Qa5 15.h5 Nxh5 16.Qh6 f6 17.f4 Rf7 18.f5 (＋/ - ) With great pressure for the pawn. *15.e5 dxe5 16.g4 Qxh4 17.Rfg1 h6 18.dxe5 Nxe5 19.Nf2 Nxf3 20.Rxh4 Nxd2 21.Nxd2 (＋/ - ) There is not enough compensation.

9...Nbd7 10.h5 b4 11.Nb1 (＋/ = ) As given by Vigus 2009 is a decent initiative for white.

10.Nb1 Ba6It makes sense on a positional level to exchange the bishops like this and it is the mainline in DW: Pirc Modern. I have an idea of how to face it but before this is discussed it makes sense to note that there are quite a few alternatives; although most are quite bad.

10...Qxa2

Is not such an important pawn. I will give my mainline of analysis and refer to a future analysis file for more.

11.h5 Nbd7 12.g4 a5 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Qh6+ Kg8 16.g5 a4 17.gxf6 Nxf6 18.e5 Nh5 19.Bd3 Qf7 20.Ne2 Bf5 21.Bxf5 Qxf5 22.Rdg1 Kh8 23.Ng3 Qf4+ 24.Qxf4 Nxf4 25.Nd2 (＋/ - ) Black does not have full compensation.

10...Bxh6 11.Qxh6 Rd8?

DW: Pirc Modern p.21 This was briefly mentioned in DW: Pirc Modern but seems way to risky.

12.h5 Qxa2 13.g4 (＋/ - ) Black will get crushed on the kingside.

10...Nh5 11.Ne2 Ba6 12.Bxg7 Nxg7 13.a3 Nd7 14.axb4 (＋/ - )

10...Be6 11.h5 Transposes to 9...Be6

11.Bxg711.Nh3?! Bxf1 12.Rdxf1 Qxa2 (∞) White does not appear to have anything great even if he has his pieces positioned quite well.

11...Kxg7 12.h5 Bxf1 13.Rxf1 Nbd7 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Nh3!Not exactly caring about black's play and just getting an important piece in play. 15.Qh6+ is covered in DW: Pirc Modern and also looks good.

15...Qxa215...Kg8 16.Re1! e5 17.dxe5 dxe5 18.Rd1 (＋/ - ) White is very much for choice.

15...c5 16.Ng5 Qxa2 17.Nxh7 Nxh7 18.Qh6+ Kf7 19.Qxh7+ Ke8 20.Qxg6+ Qf7 21.Qxf7+ Kxf7 22.dxc5 Nxc5 23.Nd2 (＋/ - )

16.Ng5 Kg8 17.Re1 Nb617...e5? 18.Rh6 a5 19.Reh1 a4 20.Nxh7! a3 21.Nxf6+ Nxf6 22.Qg5 Qxb2+ 23.Kd2 Qxd4+ 24.Kc1 Qb2+ 25.Kd1 Qxb1+ 26.Kd2 Nxe4+ 27.fxe4 Rf2+ 28.Ke3 Re2+ 29.Kxe2 Qxc2+ 30.Ke3 Qc5+ 31.Kf3 Rf8+ 32.Kg4 Rf4+ 33.Kh3 Qe3+ 34.g3 Qxe4 35.Qd8+ Rf8 36.Rh8+ Kxh8 37.Qxf8+ Kh7 38.Rf1 Qf5+ 39.Rxf5 gxf5 40.Qxf5+ (＋ - ) White wins.

18.b3 a5 19.e5 dxe5 20.Qd3 e420...a4 21.Rxh7! e4 22.Rxe4 Nxh7 23.Re6 Rf7 24.Rxg6+ Kf8 25.Ne6+ Ke8 26.Rg8+ Nf8 27.Qg6 (＋ - )

21.Rxe4 Nbd5 22.Reh4 Rf7 23.Nxf7 Kxf7 24.Rxh7+ Ke6 25.Qxg6 (＋/ - ) White is better in a strange position.**9.Nb1!?**White does somewhat misplace his knight and going 9.Nce2 might be stronger. Now it does look like black should invite white's queen though and that is in some ways potentially a bit risky.

**9...Bxh6**9...Ba6 10.Bxg7 Kxg7 11.Qxb4 (＋/ = )9...Nbd7 10.h4 e5 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Qxb4 d5 14.Nc3 Be6 15.Nge2 (＋/ - )9...Qb6 10.h4 Nh5 11.Rh2 f5 12.Bc4+ d5 13.exd5 (＋/ - )9...Qa5 10.h4 Transposes to 8...Qa5.**10.Qxh6 **Black, who has played a bit risky so far, now needs to play something smart and anticipate a white initiative. If he does not do this he risks losing quite fast. There are two moves.

**10...Qc7!**10...Kh8!? 11.h4 Rg8 12.g4 (＋/ = ) White should be a little better thanks to his space advantage. Play is very non-forcing so providing a clear projection of what play might look like seems hard.**11.h4 c5 12.Ne2 cxd4 13.Nxd4 Nc6 14.h5 (Diagram)**This looks like a good place to take stock of the position. Both sides will try to attack and if white wants something he probably needs to display some accuracy in the play to come.

**14...Ne5**14...Nxd4? 15.Rxd4 Nxh5 16.g4 Nf6 17.Rd2!? Qb6 18.e5 dxe5 19.g5 Nh5 20.Bd3 Bb7 21.Rxh5 Qg1+ 22.Rd1 Qxd1+ 23.Kxd1 Bxf3+ 24.Be2 Bxh5 25.Bxh5 gxh5 26.Qxh5 (＋ - ) **15.g4**Remarkably white's possibilities looks to be diminished if he plays even one slow move e.g.

15.Nd2?! 15...a5! 16.g4 a4 17.hxg6 fxg6 18.g5 Nh5 19.Rxh5 gxh5 20.Bc4+ Nxc4 21.Nb5 Qb7 22.Nxc4 b3 23.g6 e5 24.Nbxd6 Qg7 25.gxh7+ Kh8 26.Nf7+ Qxf7 27.Nxe5 Qf4+ 28.Qxf4 Rxf4 29.Ng6+ Kxh7 30.Nxf4 bxa2 (∞) Black has two dangerous passers which collude to give him counterchances.

**15...Bd7**15...a5 16.Bh3! e6 17.Qg5 Qd8 18.Qh4 gxh5 19.gxh5 Kh8 20.f4 Ned7 21.Bxe6 fxe6 22.Nxe6 Qe8 23.Nxf8 Qxf8 24.Rhe1 (＋/ = ) White seems better, potentially much so, even if the position has not been totally resolved.**16.Nd2**Only now after black played a relatively slow last move does this knight come out.

**16...Kh8 17.Bb5 Rg8**17...a5 18.hxg6 fxg6 19.Nc4 Nxc4 20.g5 Rf7 21.gxf6 Bxb5 22.Nxb5 Qc5 23.Rd5 Qe3+ 24.Qxe3 Nxe3 (+/=) May be preferable but still looks to lead to clearly worse endgames.

**18.hxg6 fxg6 19.Kb1 a5 20.Bxd7 Qxd7 21.Nf1 a4! (Diagram)**It is important for black to do something before white gets his pieces in order.

**22.Ne3 a3**22...b3 23.cxb3 axb3 24.a3 Rg7 25.Nd5 (＋/ - ) Changes to little.**23.b3 e6 24.Ng2!?**There are lots of interesting continuations here and a deep analysis might prove fruitful. I settled for this mildly mysterious knight move though, since it allows the queen to centralise.

24.f4 Is probably to direct.

24.Qh2 looks like an alternative, though I reckon the queen will get involved anyway.

**24...Rg7 25.Qe3!? (+/=) (Diagram)**Is a position where white keeps control and should likely be somewhat better. Black does have weaknesses and there there is quite literally lots of room for white to manouvre as the game goes on.

Have a nice day.